President Trump will visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday to mourn the 11 people murdered at a synagogue over the weekend, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Monday, growing emotional as she noted Trump's Jewish relatives.
“The president wants to be there to show the support of this administration for the Jewish community,” Sanders said, noting that “the rabbi said that he is welcome.”
Sanders fended off questions about whether there was a link between Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward political adversaries and recent violent incidents, including the Saturday synagogue shooting and the mailing of at least 14 pipe bombs by an apparent Trump supporter who was arrested Friday. She said the shooter and bombmaker were responsible for their own actions.
[Related: New York Times: Florida, Pittsburgh suspects 'responsible for their own actions']
“This atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder. It was an act of hatred. Above all, it was an act of evil. Anti-Semitism is a plague and we all have a duty to confront anti-Semitism in all its forms,” Sanders said about the shooting during opening briefing remarks.
Growing emotional, she continued: "The president cherishes the American-Jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country. He adores Jewish-Americans as part of his own family. The president is the grandfather of several Jewish grandchildren. His daughter is a Jewish-American and his son-in-law is a descendant of Holocaust survivors."
Sanders eulogized the victims at the Tree of Life synagogue as “brothers and sisters who looked out for each other — they were doctors who cared for citizens in need, they were proud grandparents who taught their grandchildren to value faith, family, and country. And they were the religious heart of the Tree of Life community.”